Consumer Product Recalls Hit Highest Point Since 2011

Published findings from the quarterly Recall Index reveal trends in recalls across various verticals and sectors including consumer products.

Stericycle ExpertSolutions has published findings from its quarterly Recall Index which reveal trends in recalls across various verticals and sectors including consumer products. In the release, the Index found that recall activity increased over the second quarter of 2016 across sectors, highlighting the continued importance of recall preparedness, communication and execution.

Some of the biggest takeaways include:

  • Consumer product recalls are at their highest point since 2011
  • Injuries from defective products decreased 22 percent even as recalls and incidents rose
  • 82 percent of recalls were for home furnishings and fixtures

The index breaks down the sectors by consumer products, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical device and food & beverage. Here are results from those sectors:


Consumer product recalls increased by just 8 percent, but that rise represents the second highest number of recalls since Q1 2011. Recalled units were higher than any quarter from 2005-2015, despite dropping 74 percent from the previous quarter.


NHTSA recalls rose 40 percent over the previous quarter, while recalled units increased 100 percent to more than 39.6 million, making Q2 the second highest quarter since at least 2000 for both measurements.


After a slow start to 2016, pharmaceutical recall activity went up in Q2, but it was still down from historical trends dating back to 2004. Recalls rose 35 percent to their highest level since Q3 2014. Recalled units increased even more substantially — by 169 percent.


In contrast with Q1’s plunge, the number of recalls increased 38 percent, making it a tie for highest quarter since Q3 2014. Recalled medical device units were three times higher in Q2, but were still 30 percent lower than the quarterly average in 2015.


Recall activity in the food industry increased across the board in Q2, with FDA recalls up 82 percent and USDA recalls up 12 percent. Each regulatory body saw one large recall that caused recalled units to reach new records.

Check out the full report here.

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